Breaking the Cycle of Sin – The Bible in Lent: Day 13
Throughout the stories in the Book of Kings of the kings of Israel and the retelling in Book of Chronicles, one thing is clear, sin perpetuates when it is not rooted out.
The first king of Israel, after the nation had divided, disobeyed the Lord. Afraid of the people worshipping at the Temple in Jerusalem and longing to be united with Judah, created golden calves to set-up for them to sacrifice before in two different cities. He also sent the Levites, the priests called by God, away and set up his own priests.
He led the people to sin for generations.
In the Books of Kings, it notes over and over again how the following kings of Israel perpetuated the sin of Jeroboam. The standard had been set.
“He also did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart from all the sins of Jerobo′am the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin, but he walked in them.” – 2 Kings 13:11, RSVCE
Over and over again, this verse repeats nearly verbatim.
The pattern of sin, once set, is hard to break. Once you are convinced that sin is acceptable, it is nearly impossible to see it differently.
Like fish in water, they just embraced the sin of their ancestors and moved forward in the sin of those around them without questioning it.
Sin perpetuates and it is a vicious cycle.
So how do we break it? How do we recognize the sins we’ve accepted as acceptable and move forward differently.
To break the pattern of sin in our lives, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit and pray for hearts that are tender to the Potter’s hands.
We need the Holy Spirit to enlighten our hearts and reveal our sinful ways.
When he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment – John 16:8 RSVCE
Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would reveal sin to us. One of the advantages we have to the kings of Israel is that we live in the age where the Spirit of God has been poured out on all who believe. We need to ask the Spirit to convict us of sin and help us see where we are not living lives that align with God’s commands.
We also need to soak ourselves in the Word of God.
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16 RSVCE
The Word of God also helps us realize where we have strayed from God’s commands and equips us to live to the standard we have been called by God to live. When we read the Word of God, when we see His great love for us and the calling we have to live for Him, we must confront our need to respond to that calling.
The Bible wakes up our hearts by presenting a picture that is utterly different than the one tainted by sin that we find ourselves in. Opening our Bibles and letting the Word of God work in our hearts is one of the ways we can help break the cycle of sin.
God hasn’t abandoned us in our battle against sin. He has given us tools and gifts to help us end the cycles we find ourselves in when we call upon His name and seek Him. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear His call and become more and more like Christ each and every day.